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Arizona: Well how do you like that?? Centene *expands* AZ exchange coverage!

h/t to Bob Herman and Richard Mayhew for the tip:

OK, I admit that I first read this as Centene expanding into Pinal County (that's the one which came very close to not having any carriers on the exchange whatsoever, until Blue Cross Blue Shield agreed to stick around at the last minute). Unfortunately, no, Centene isn't going to offer plans there this fall. However, they are going to be participating on the ACA exchange in Maricopa and Pima Counties, which is still a very good development since Cigna and BCBS would otherwise have been the only exchange carriers in them respectively:

Centene Expands Marketplace Offering In Arizona

ST. LOUIS, Sept. 14, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Centene Corporation (NYSE: CNC) announced today it has filed with the Arizona Department of Insurance (DOI) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to continue its participation as a qualified health plan issuer in the Arizona Health Insurance Marketplace (Marketplace) in 2017. Centene plans to offer health maintenance organization (HMO) health insurance coverage branded as Ambetter in Maricopa and Pima Counties. Centene is working diligently with the DOI and CMS to receive approval for its filing.

"We are pleased to work with state and federal regulators to help maintain quality coverage for over 120,000 residents in Maricopa County. Centene has served Arizona residents for the last decade and we look forward to extending our offering in 2017," said Michael F. Neidorff, Chairman, President and CEO for Centene. "We are confident in our disciplined approach to serving the Marketplace and look forward to leveraging our successful model that has been implemented in multiple states across the country."

Centene estimates that its 2017 Ambetter offerings in Arizona will provide incremental revenue of over $500 million and have a positive impact on earnings in 2017.

The participation in the Marketplace by offering HMO products in Maricopa and Pima counties does not impact the previous commitment to a statewide exit of the Health Net preferred provider organization (PPO) offerings, effective January 1, 2017.

Ambetter is Centene's nationally-recognized brand on the Health Insurance Marketplace. Consumers can start shopping for 2017 coverage during the Open Enrollment period beginningNovember 1, 2016, with coverage starting as soon as January 1, 2017.

As an aside: Don't get me wrong, I'm glad they'll be available, but for the love of God, could the carriers please stick to a single name/branding?? It's confusing enough trying to keep track of the names when there's a merger/acquisition...